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and then seeming to evince hesitation and perplexity of thought, as if the perusal of the indentures had impressed him with some doubt, which he could not explain to himself, and was yet unwilling to communicate to the others.

“ 'Tis strange,” he at length muttered to himself, in a tone of voice just loud enough to be heard by those who stood near to him, “ 'Tis strange enough, that not one single individual of the many who have signed these papers should now be living."

“ What saith the Count of Flanders ?" enquired the King, who was placed at too great a distance justly to distinguish the words, and who had hitherto sat by silently looking on, and apparently unconcerned as to what was spoken. “What was it you said, my Lord of Flanders ?” he continued, addressing him more particularly, “ Who is it that is not alive?-you spoke something to that effect.”

“Nay, my Liege, 'twas a mere nothing that I said, it importeth not to the general question;

yet could not I avoid remarking, as a circumstance curious and worthy of note, that there should not be one of the many witnesses to these deeds who is now alive ;-it well proves what mere passengers we be in this world, my Liege!”

“ Hand me the papers again,” said the King, addressing the Prothonotary standing at his side," this escaped mine observation.Why, yes! truly, as Count Louis saith, so it is, there is not one of all—let me see, how many are there one, two, threethere are no less than thirteen different signatures, and yet not one of the writers is now in existence; the last of them, Jean Seigneur of Abbeville, died, I think, about three or four months agone. Ah me! Time scythes us down manfully. Yet still, happily for the Count of Artois, though the writers are no more, their signatures remain !” .

“Ay true, my Liege,” replied Louis, “happily indeed the signatures remain,-but is the noble Count of Artois,” he continued, partly addressing him of whom he spoke, “ quite certain that the friar of whom he received them was honest, and did not endeavour to play on his credulity? I should not-I speak it with diffidence- I should not-I grieve, sincerely grieve, to seem to lay a difficulty in the way, but the oath which I have sworn unto your Grace, forces me to utter all my thoughts,

—and I should not, I confess, being, as I am, called upon to speak, say that this writing is that of Robert the Second, the present Count of Artois' grandsire.”

“ Not the writing of Robert the Second !” exclaimed, almost with one voice, each person present, and the King in particular; “ Whose then is it?" Philip continued, “I have often seen Count Robert's signature, and well as I may recollect, it doth most perfectly resemble this ;—whose else should it be ?”

" Truly, 'tis his, without doubt," Louis replied, “nor said I that it was not so; I but asserted that it bore not so nice a resemblance as-considering the importance of the business now at stake-might be wished, to the old Count's habitual signature,”

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